January Theme: Beginnings…and Those Pesky Resolutions
By Marcia Thornton Jones
Happy New Year!
Our January theme of beginnings made me think of one of my favorite plotting exercises: writing bookends to a story. It’s a simple exercise that uses the opening of a work-in-progress to provide a-ha’s into character transformation and story resolution.
·First write a brief opening scene.
·Then copy/paste the opening scene and rewrite it as a mirrored ending that shows how the character has evolved as a result of his/her journey (use the same setting, descriptions, dialogue, and character traits but tweak them to convey transformation).
·Based on the bookends, write a plot synopsis by summarizing what needs to happen to move the character from the story beginning to the rewritten resolution.
Such a loaded word. In writing it’s the end of the character’s story, but at this time of year it hints of goals and intentions; about beginning a personal journey.
I’ve never been successful with resolutions so I'm going to modify the above exercise in order to provide a few personal a-ha’s for my own story. Anyone else out there willing to accept the challenge to write a bookend summary for 2014?
·First write a brief beginning describing you as you are right now.
·Then rewrite the beginning showing a transformed you on December 31, 2014.
·Finally, write a summary showing what needs to happen between those two bookends in order to make that transformation a reality.
Now all that’s left is to live your plot!
Happy beginnings, resolutions…and all plot events in the middle!